Washington, DC Area

Applies to: Date Not Loaded

OPM OPERATING STATUS: View Details

ABOUT THE TOUR

The Pentagon, one of the world's largest office buildings, is the headquarters of the Department of Defense. Located in the Washington, D.C., area, the five-sided building has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building. About 100,000 annual visitors explore displays and memorials in the Pentagon's halls with the help of tour guides, all of whom are active U.S. military service members.

TOUR DETAILS

There are the important details and guidelines you need to follow to enter the Pentagon and go on a tour. Tours fill up quickly, and reservations are required at least 14 days in advance through this website.

LEARN MORE
security icon

SECURITY

We want visitors to enjoy their time exploring military history at the Pentagon, and that can only happen if visitors are aware of and follow these security guidelines. There are no exceptions, and noncompliance will result in the tour being terminated.

LEARN MORE
faq icon

FAQs

Wondering about parking, checking in or what to bring on the tour? Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Pentagon tours.

LEARN MORE

REQUEST TOUR

To take a guided tour of the Pentagon, you must make a reservation through this website. Tours can fill up quickly, so it is advisable to book your tour well in advance of your visit. Reservations may be booked from 14 to 90 days in advance.

CHECK EXISTING TOUR

View your tour approved/declined status, add or remove a member of your tour group, reschedule the tour, or cancel your tour group.

GETTING HERE

The use of public transportation or taxis is strongly recommended in the Washington region because parking is very limited and traffic is often heavy.

metro map

By Metro: Take either the Yellow or Blue line to the Pentagon station. For a Metrorail map and more information about Metro shuttles from locations south of the airport, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority website.

By Train: Union Station is the main intercity railway station in Washington, D.C., connecting Amtrak, the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) train and the Virginia Rail Express to the Metro’s Red Line. Board the Red Line (toward Shady Grove); at Gallery Place/Chinatown station, switch to the Yellow Line (toward airport) to arrive at the Pentagon stop.

At the Pentagon station: Exit the Metro and take the escalator to the left up to the Pentagon entrance.

no parking map

Driving is not recommended because public parking is not available at the Pentagon. There is no shuttle service to or from the Pentagon. If you choose to drive, you may opt for paid parking at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, also known as Pentagon City mall. The Pentagon is less than a five-minute walk from the mall and can be reached through a pedestrian tunnel. Once through the tunnel, look for signs to the Metro entrance.

tour duration

60 min

walking miles

1.5

tour guides

25

tours per month

270

visitors annually

100,000

PENTAGON HISTORY

1941

1942

1943

1976

1989

1992

1998

2001

2008

2011

Sept. 11, 1941

Construction Begins

Congress authorizes construction of the Pentagon, and ground is broken Sept. 11. The land belonged to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee before it was confiscated during the Civil War.

pentagon-construction
April 29, 1942

First Occupants Move In

While the Pentagon's construction is not complete, the first employees begin working inside the building.

first occupants in pentagon
Jan. 15, 1943

Construction Complete

The Pentagon officially opens. The 16-month project required the skill of 1,000 architects and the labor of 14,000 tradesmen working three shifts, 24 hours a day. At the height of World War II, the Pentagon housed more than 33,000 occupants.

construction of pentagon is completed
May 17, 1976

Pentagon Tours Established

The Pentagon tours program was established to support the nation's bicentennial celebration. Initially, the program was to last through the 4th of July and then be disbanded; however, internal support and public demand were so great that the program has continued ever since.

1989

Historic Place

The Pentagon is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

pentagon declared historic place
1992

Designated as Historic Landmark

The Pentagon was designated as a National Historic Landmark with five outer facades obtaining historic status: the Central Courtyard and its surrounding facade; the Terrace fronting the Mall Entrance; the terrace fronting the River Entrance; and the Pentagon's distinctive five-sided shape.

pentagon designated as historic landmark
1998

Renovations Begin

Pentagon renovations begin, one wedge at a time. Building systems are modernized, and a new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified Metro entrance, delivery facility and fitness center are created.

renovations to pentagon
Sept. 11, 2001

American Airlines Flight 77 Crashes into Pentagon

In the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, 59 people aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and 125 people inside the building perish.

september 11th attack on pentagon
Sept. 11, 2008

9/11 Memorial Dedicated

The Defense Department honors those killed in the 9/11 attack with the opening of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

9/11 memorial dedication
2011

Renovation Complete

The Pentagon renovation project is complete. With about 4 million square feet of space, renovations included the removal of all hazardous materials, replacement of all building systems, addition of new elevators and escalators to improve vertical circulation, and installation of new security and telecommunications systems.

renovations completed after 9/11 attack